Space Craft RV Factory Tour – Custom 5th Wheels Made To Order!

October 2015 – During a wonderful 8 month season of RV travel that had taken our fifth wheel trailer 10,000 miles from Arizona to Big Bend Texas to Florida’s Gulf Coast and up through the Smokies via the Blue Ridge Parkway to Nova Scotia and then over to Acadia National Park in Maine and west through New York’s Finger Lakes, culminating with a fabulous stop in Maysville, Kentucky, we had not only seen some beautiful sights, but we had visited several RV and trailer repair shops on the way.

Custom fifth wheel trailer RV by Space Craft Manufacturing

How about a new custom fifth wheel trailer from Space Craft Manufacturing?!

After installing disc brakes in our trailer in Texas, an upgrade we have been grateful for every single day since, we replaced a bent trailer axle in Maine, followed by swapping out a dead RV refrigerator in Indiana.

In Kansas, we tackled a slew of plumbing repairs, from a new fresh water tank to a new kitchen faucet, rebuilt toilet, new black tank sensors, new black tank sewer valve, and a repaired window leak, among many other things. And our trailer still has suspension issues.

Besides being grateful for our RV warranty, we began to wonder: at what point do you give up on an aging RV and get a new one?

Space Craft Manufacturing custom fifth wheel trailer RV

A newly completed Space Craft 30.5 fifth wheel trailer

On our way from our refrigerator repair to our plumbing repairs, we stopped in to visit the unusual custom fifth wheel builder, Space Craft Manufacturing. We have known about this company for a long time, and were thrilled to be able to take a peek at their facility.

Space Craft’s primary market is the carnival and circus industry. These traveling folks work full-time and are very hard on their trailers. One client, we learned, lives with his leopard and his chimpanzee in his fifth wheel. He came to Space Craft looking for a design that could give both of his companions a comfortable home in his trailer — along with a little space for him too!

Maple kitchen Space Craft Manufacturing 5th wheel trailer RV

Inside the 30.5 – beautiful custom built maple cabinets

Circus folk don’t have the time to fuss with repairs. They need rugged trailers that hold up to big cats and great apes! Out in Space Craft’s used trailer lot, we saw a bunch of 2014 and 2015 top-of-the-line fifth wheel trailers that had been traded in for Space Crafts after just one season on the road, because they weren’t up to the job.

The beauty of getting a Space Craft is you can have anything you want. They build trailers from 30′ to 57′ long, and they outfit them with whatever kinds of cabinets you want, whatever floorplan suits your fancy, whatever paint job you think is cool and whatever appliances and components you deem vital to your personal happiness on the road in an RV.

Have It Your Way!

RV bedroom Space Craft Manufacturing custom fifth wheel trailer

Cedar closets and a beautiful maple dresser. The furnace blows from under the dresser rather than floor ductwork.

In town, we chatted with a gal that has lived in Concordia, Missouri, home of Space Craft Manufacturing, all her life. She says the locals there are all accustomed to Space Craft’s unusual customers who swing through now and then for repairs or to upgrade to new units. Space Craft is located right behind a rest area on I-70, though, and interstate travelers are often shocked when they see an elephant or a giraffe grazing in the grass just beyond the trees!

When we first poked our heads in the door of a finished Space Craft 30.5 fifth wheel trailer, we were astonished by the quality. Every inch of the trailer radiated hallmarks of rugged construction. Frankly, all other fifth wheels we’ve been in (including our home and other popular and expensive units) are weekend toys by comparison!

RV living room Space Craft custom fifth wheel trailer

This buyer wanted house-like painted walls rather than wallpaper fiberboard

Space Craft is a family owned business run by Marsha Trautman and her son Wyatt. They don’t bother with marketing, because they just don’t need to do it, although they do take a trailer showcasing unique design features to the Tampa RV show most years. They build 10 to 15 units a year, and right now, they are booked with orders for a full year in advance. To get in line, just put down a 25% deposit on your new trailer.

Outer wall of an RV slide-out room

The frame of the outer wall of a slide-out room

Space Craft does everything in-house. They build their own frames and pay extraordinary attention to details that most manufacturers overlook. Rather than focusing on a standardized fleet of sexy floorplans with luxurious furnishings and fixtures, they ensure the underpinnings of each trailer are top notch, something buyers often forget to think about when they are seduced by a beautifully appointed RV living room at a dealership.

Tiny details like the superior construction of slide-out rooms are a given. Most manufacturers build slide-out rooms with multiple joints and rows of screws holding things together, making them prone to leaks. At Space Craft, every slide-out room is built with a single sheet of fiberglass covering the roof and sides, with nary a screw to be found.

Seamless slideout customer 5th wheel trailer Space Craft Manufacturing

Seamless slide-out construction – no chance of leaks

Underneath, their trailers are equally uncluttered, and there is no flimsy corrugated plastic screwed to the bottom. Just pure, fine lines and solid construction.

Space Craft manufacturing clean underbelly custom fifth wheel trailer

Even the underbelly has fine lines and no dangling parts or corrugated plastic sheeting.

Space Craft builds what you request, and they have blueprints for hundreds of different designs they’ve built already to give you ideas.

When I chatted with Wyatt, Space Craft’s designer, about what he feels is important in fifth wheel construction, he made it plain that easy access to all components and leak-proof, solid construction were his first priorities. Whereas many other brand new full-time fifth wheel trailers place important systems and components in out-of-the-way places, Wyatt puts every system in a spot where it will be easy to service or replace.

Electrical compartment Space Craft custom fifth wheel RV

Now THIS is a well dressed RV electrical installation!

The DC and AC wiring in the basement of a Space Craft is a sight to behold. Beautifully done!

Only one Space Craft trailer is built at time by a handful of loyal and skilled employees. While we were there, a 53′ two bedroom, two bathroom model was in the finishing stages on the line.

Space Craft Manufacturing custom 2 bedroom 2 bathroom trailer

Space Craft produces one meticulously built trailer at a time.

Many of the Space Craft trailers are two bedroom, two bathroom luxury models, designed for carnival and circus owners. Many others are “bunkhouse” units that have four to six entrance doors on one side going to individual bedrooms to house employees on tour.

Space Craft Manufacturing custom 53' fifth wheel trailer RV_

During our visit, a 53′ two bedroom two bath model was on the line.

However, Space Craft has built loads of smaller fifth wheels for full-time RVers, although Wyatt said with a smile that none of their buyers are first-time owners. Afterall, it is impossible to know what custom options you’ll want or need in a full-time rolling home before you’ve been on the road a little while.

Space Craft Manufacturing custom fifth wheel RV landing legs

Ummmm…our landing legs don’t look anything like that!

What does one of these babies cost? I was astonished to discover that a 37-38′ fifth wheel would come in around $125k to $150k, depending on options like hydraulic leveling, disc brakes, pre-installed solar power, generator, etc.

Solar panels on a Space Craft custom fifth wheel RV

This buyer wanted two 100 watt solar panels. They’ll install whatever you ask for!

That is very comparable to the MSRP on Continental Coach (Forks RV), DRV (Thor), Luxe (Augusta RV) or New Horizons semi-custom fifth wheels. The nice thing is that if you want a top quality unit that doesn’t have an island kitchen and is in the mid-30′ range, a nearly extinct mass-market design, Space Craft can engineer and build it for you. They can even build in a beautiful vent-free propane fireplace with real flames and a wooden mantel as a cozy centerpiece for those cold winter nights!

Space Craft Manufacturing custom kitchen 53' fifth wheel trailer RV

Custom kitchen built to the buyer’s specs

If you travel with unusual pets, no matter how big or how exotic, Space Craft will surely take it in stride and will build the rolling home of their (and your) dreams!

Space Craft Manufacturing Logo


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